The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release -- May 21, 1996
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Locating Federal Facilities On Historic Properties
In Our Nation's Central Cities
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the
laws of the United States of America, including the National Historic
Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) and the Public Buildings
Cooperative Use Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 2505), and in furtherance of and
consistent with Executive Order No. 12072 of August 16, 1978, and
Executive Order No. 11593 of May 13, 1971, it is hereby ordered as
Section 1. Statement of Policy. Through the Administration's community
empowerment initiatives, the Federal Government has undertaken
various efforts to revitalize our central cities, which have historically
served as the centers for growth and commerce in our metropolitan
areas. Accordingly, the Administration hereby reaffirms the commitment
set forth in Executive Order No. 12072 to strengthen our Nation's cities
by encouraging the location of Federal facilities in our central cities. The
Administration also reaffirms the commitments set forth in the National
Historic Preservation Act to provide leadership in the preservation of
historic resources, and in the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act of
1976 to acquire and utilize space in suitable buildings of historic,
architectural, or cultural significance.
To this end, the Federal Government shall utilize and maintain, wherever
operationally appropriate and economically prudent, historic properties
and districts, especially those located in our central business areas.
When implementing these policies, the Federal Government shall institute
practices and procedures that are sensible, understandable, and
compatible with current authority and that impose the least burden on,
and provide the maximum benefit to, society.
Section 2. Encouraging the Location of Federal Facilities on Historic
Properties in Our Central Cities. When operationally appropriate and
economically prudent, and subject to the requirements of Section 601 of
title Vi of the Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended (42 U.S.C.
3122), and Executive Order No. 12072, when locating Federal facilities,
Federal agencies shall give first consideration to historic properties
within historic districts.
If no such property is suitable, then Federal agencies shall consider
other developed or undeveloped sites within historic districts. Federal
agencies shall then consider historic properties outside of historic
districts, if no suitable site within a district exists. Any rehabilitation or
construction that is undertaken pursuant to this order must be
architecturally compatible with the character of the surrounding historic
district or properties.
Section 3. Identifying and Removing Regulatory Barriers. Federal
agencies with responsibilities for leasing, acquiring, locating, maintaining,
or managing Federal facilities or with responsibilities for the planning for,
or managing of, historic resources shall take steps to reform, streamline,
and otherwise minimize regulations, policies, and procedures that impede
the Federal Government's ability to establish or maintain a presence in
historic districts or to acquire historic properties to satisfy Federal space
needs, unless such regulations, policies, and procedures are designed
to protect human health and safety or the environment. Federal agencies
are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation when taking these steps.
Section 4. Improving Preservation Partnerships. In carrying out the
authorities of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Secretary of the
Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and each Federal
agency shall seek appropriate partnerships with States, local
governments, Indian tribes, and appropriate private organizations with
the goal of enhancing participation of these parties in the National Historic
Preservation Program. Such partnerships should embody the principles
of administrative flexibility, reduced paperwork, and increased service to
Section 5. Judicial Review. This order is not intended to create, nor
does it create, any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies or
instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
William J. Clinton
The White House,
May 21, 1996.